On Tuesday, August 21st, the national prison strike hit the ground running, went viral on Twitter, spread into Canadian prisons, set off a series of lock downs in some US prisons, and also spread into an immigrant detention facility in Tacoma, Washington.
The Northwest Detention Facility has been the scene of ongoing hunger strikes, work stoppages, #AbolishICE protests, and almost nightly noise demonstrations outside of the facility. At 1pm Pacific Time today, Maru Villalpando, herself once targeted for deportation due to her organizing, announced that detainees inside were officially joining the prison strike in solidarity by launching a hunger strike, a work stoppage, and issuing their own demands. On Facebook the group wrote:
Over 200 people detained at the now infamous Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) begin today a hunger strike and work stoppage in response to the call for a national prison strike in the U.S. NWDC Resistance organizers received calls from at least three pods confirming the strike, which is intended to last until September 9th. Organizers received a document listing the reasons and demands.
“We are taking part in a hunger strike nationwide demanding change and closure of these detention centers, we are acting with solidarity for all those people who are being detained wrongfully, and stand together to help support all those women who have been separated from their children, and to stop all the family separations happening today for a lot of us are also being separated and we have U.S. citizen children”, reads the first part of the letter.
This is the third hunger strike in 2018 alone, since 2014 there have been nearly 15 hunger strikes at NWDC calling for humane detention conditions, access to justice, and and end to detentions and deportations.
At a press conference, Maru discussed the detainees demands
A photo of a letter from detainees discussing their strike and their demands:
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